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4 - Thefthigan Daily - Footbalturday - September 20, 107 0
. _ ..._.,.._.. .._ ... _. l'tMER
Mortimer breaks meet record atjayhawk
For the Michigan men's cross country team,
nothing matters more than winning the Big Ten
and NCAA championships at the end of the
The rest of the meets might as well be con-
sidered a tune-up for the all-important season
culmination. There's no real reason a runner
couldn't dog it during the regular season, sav-
ing his energy for a final all-or-nothing perfor-
'blII that to John Mortimer.
Mortimer led Michigan to victory Saturday
in its first scored meet of the season, the
Jayhawk Invitational in Lawrence, Kan.
And he led them in a big way, finishing first
overall in the 8,000-meter race with a course-
record time of 25:19. Michigan won the meet
with 30 points.
"The course was pretty difficult," Mortimer
said. "I had a good summer of training and
kept fairly sharp with a few races, just getting
in the competitive mode. It just kind of came
The team closest to Michigan was Butler
(Kan.) Community College with 37 points.
Kansas State came in third with a whopping
116 points, while host Kansas placed fourth in
team scoring with 126.
"I'm very happy," Michigan coach Ron
Warhurst said. "That was a great way to start
the season. Butler County beat Arkansas, the out of years of improvement.'
No. 2 team in the country last week, so we did Mortimer wasn't the only Wolverine to turn
very well." in a stellar performance.
Facing Butler was definitely a surprise for Senior Kevin Sullivan placed third in the
Michigan - not because Butler ran so well, invitational with a time of 25:38. Sullivan was
but because the community college actually only seven seconds behind Butler's Noah
showed up. Lagat, who came in second overall.
Michigan had expected a dearth of competi- "I was pleased, but I wasn't really satisfied
tion at the Jayhawk, not a team that could run with my performance" Sullivan said. "I wasn't
with powerhouse Arkansas. aggressive in the middle of the race, but I made
But wait a minute, a community college? the effort to be competitive?'
Competing with Michigan and Arkansas? Michigan's third finisher was junior Todd
NAIA schools lack the eligibility restrictions Snyder, who placed fifth with a time of 26:06.
ofNCAA institutions, meaning the Wolverines The Wolverines' top five was rounded out by
weren't exactly running against their peers. Steve Lawrence and Don McLaughlin, who
"They actually have about five Kenyans on finished ninth and 12th, respectively.
their team,' Mortimer said. "There's a lot of Even Michigan's sixth and seventh finishers
shaky stuff going on there. There's no age lim- - who do not actually count towards the team
its, no recruiting violations - they can pretty score - had dominant performances.
much do anything. Michigan's Mike Wisniewski and Jay Cantin
"Those guys are like 28 and 29 years old." placed 19th and 22nd, respectively. That may
Mortimer didn't just gain valuable interna- not seem impressive compared to the races
tional experience at the Jayhawk meet. Kansas' turned in by the others, but consider that the
course is also designated as the site of the 1998 overall field consisted of at least 50 runners.
NCAAs. Cantin and Wisniewski would have been the
Considering that Mortimer broke the course top performers on almost any team besides
record, he should be in pretty good shape for Michigan.
1998, right? Wrong. "Everyone ran really well," Sullivan said.
"I'm going to be redshirting that year prob- "The front guys ran well, and the guys coming
ably," Mortimer said. "Then I can come back up in the non-scoring positions ran really well,
and run my fifth year. I'd like to think that I'd too.
be better as a fifth year than a fourth year, just "It was a really good opening meet for us.'
Michigan's John Mortimer didn't take It easy last Saturday, set-
ting a meet record at the Jayhawk Invitational in Lawrence, Kan.
Sep ber 20, 1997 - Footba laray- The Michigan RD - 9 .. .
Ii IC RICGA N
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